Conformity

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  • Created by: Ellie
  • Created on: 28-05-13 13:55
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  • Conformity
    • Change in behaviour or attitude as a result of perceived group pressure
    • There are 3 different types of conformity
      • Compliance
        • The person conforms publicly but continues to disagree privately
          • Shallowest form
      • Identification
        • Conforms publicly and privately as they have identified with the group and feel a sense of membership
          • Change in belief is usually temporary
      • Internalisation
        • The person conforms publicly and privately as they have internalised and accepted the views of the group
        • This is the deepest form of conformity
      • Kelman 1958
    • Asch (1956)
      • Asked student volunteers to take part in a vision test
        • All but 1 participants were confederates
          • Seated in a room and asked to look at 3 lines of different lengths
            • Each pp was asked to state in turn which line was the same as the standard length
              • The answer was obvious however all confederates were told to say the wrong line to see what the pp would do
      • Aim: How the lone pp would react to the behaviour of the confederates
      • 123 male undergraduates were tested
        • Always answered in the same order round a table: pp last or second last
          • Incorrect answer was given 12 out of 18 trials by confederates
            • On the 12 critical trials, 39% of responses from the pp were incorrect, agreeing with the majority.
      • Why did people conform?
        • After interviewing the pps he found that:
          • Distortion of perception-see the lines in the same way
            • Distortion of judgement-doubted the accuracy of their judgement
            • distortion of action-agreed publicly but not privately. avoid disproval (compliance)
      • Variations in the Asch study
        • Conducted in the 1950's - Mcarthy era where people were scared to be different
          • Child of its time
            • Decreased validity and generalibilty
        • When the task difficulty increased, so did the conformity
        • When self efficiacy was high, conformity was low
        • When the size of the majority was decreased, conformity was reduced
        • When a confederate gave correct answer, conformity was reduced
      • Evaluation
        • Methodological issues
          • All men - gender bias
          • All American - culture bias
          • Lacks validity
            • Judging lines isn't important os more likely to conform
            • Answering out loud
          • Perrin and Spencer
            • Conducted an experiment on British students in the 70's and found low conformity
        • Ethical issues
          • Informed consent
          • Deception
    • Explanations of conformity
      • Normative social influence
        • We wish to be liked by the majority group, so we go along with them. Fitting in with the 'norm'
      • Informational social influence
        • We look to the majority group for information as we are unsure about the way in which to behave. We genuinely believe that they are correct so we conform
      • Identification with social roles
        • We learn expectations of how we should behave in certain situations. We then conform to these expectations when the situation arises.
    • Smith and Bond
      • Meta analysis of 133 studies using Asch's experiment
        • Conformity was higher in collectivist cultures
          • Impact of cultural variations was greater than any other variable
      • Conformity was higher in collectivist cultures
        • Impact of cultural variations was greater than any other variable

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